Umar: First, second and third pledge is to save Maldives from the drug problem

Umar Naseer launches his 2023 presidential campaign on February 4, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

Former Home Minister Umar Naseer, who has announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections, states his first, second and third electoral pledge will be to save Maldives from its deep-rooted drug problem.

Speaking to residents of V. Fulidhoo on Friday night as part of an ongoing campaign tour of Vaavu Atoll, Umar said a significant number of Maldivian youths are drug addicts. He detailed that over 500 youths start using drugs annually.

“Hundreds of kilos of drugs circulate into the Maldivian streets every month. Therefore, me, and my team, are working on this noble cause to save the Maldives from this issue,” he said.

Umar said drug traffickers will face death penalty in a government of his. He also assured the implementation of death penalty in such a government, which he states will also successfully establish peace and order across the nation.

Underscoring some islands to be stringent in their efforts against drugs, Umar noted the possibility of drugs and addiction reaching to those islands.

“Do not believe that the vessels with drugs will not come to your jetty. Or that the drug issue will not reach your roads and homes. Many islands believe that. But that is now how things work,” he said.

Speaking further, Umar said his intention is not just to be president for a five-year term and leave, but rather bring changes to the Maldives.

He also said it was not the government’s role to come down on private entrepreneurs for taxes.

“The government’s role is to facilitate opportunities for entrepreneurs such as giving them free land at the time of need, lower taxes based on the circumstances, lower their fees, nullify regulations that pose obstructions to them among other easements,” he said.  

In line with this, he pledged to revoke regulations that pose obstructions to small and medium enterprises.